For all the May long weekend dreamers, the hope of national park camping has officially been dashed.
All reservations up to May 31 are being automatically cancelled and Parks Canada won’t be taking any new reservations until at least June 1, according to a news release.
All camping facilities are affected by the ban, including backcountry camping, oTENTiks and other roofed accommodations. Cancelled camping reservations will be refunded in full, Parks Canada said.
Canada closed its national parks to visitors on March 25 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highways through national parks have remained open but all parking facilities and associated services for visitors — including washrooms, day use areas, visitor centres, and mooring — are closed until further notice.
“While the agency looks forward to resuming services, anyone planning a visit should be aware that these measures may extend beyond May 2020 and any resumption of services will take time or be incremental in nature,” Parks Canada said in its news release.
Alberta’s provincial parks and public recreation areas are all under similar restrictions, with vehicle access suspended to parking lots and staging areas on public land and visitor services, such as washrooms, closed.
“The suspension will be in effect until we are confident the health and public safety risk from COVID-19 is reduced,” said a notice on the Alberta Parks website. “Albertans should be prepared for these restrictions to still be in place well after the May long weekend.”
Online camping reservations at Alberta Parks facilities can still be booked for the summer season.